bands/musicians The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History  

Ranker Music
4.1k votes 563 voters 13.6k views 106 items Embed

Similar to the harpsichord and piano, but more grand and beautiful, the organ can create a louder, richer sound with a deep bass. The sound that comes out of an organ is often projected through large, steel pipes, especially in a setting that requires the sound to project through an entire room, such as in a symphony hall or large cathedral. The organ is also trickier to master than similar instruments. Who are the greatest organists of all time?

The musicians listed here are known for being the absolute best, and have received a place of prominence in the world of music because of their incredible talent on the organ. This list has been ranked by the community's votes to determine the absolute best organists of all time, living or dead, from all periods of music history.

This list includes top organists like Tori Amos, Steve Winwood, John Paul Jones, and Mike Oldfield. Vote up the best organists in history below or add an organ player you think is great if he or she isn't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
126 33
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Fats Waller Stride, Ragtime, Swing music

2
64 25
Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Count Basie Swing music, Big band, Piano blues

3
62 27
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Chick Corea Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

4
67 31
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Herbie Hancock Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

5
116 81
Keith Emerson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Keith Emerson Classic rock, Rock music, Classical music

6
100 68
Jimmy Smith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Jimmy Smith Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Jazz fusion

7
93 66
Jon Lord is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
HerbertHöpfl added Jon Lord Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

8
87 62
Ray Manzarek is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Ray Manzarek Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

9
74 52
Joey DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Joey DeFrancesco Hard bop, Post-bop, Jazz

10
70 50
Billy Preston is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Billy Preston Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

11
76 57
Rick Wakeman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Rick Wakeman Christian music, Pop music, Rock music

12
59 42
Booker T. Jones is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Booker T. Jones Instrumental rock, Electric blues, Rhythm and blues

13
33 19
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Ray Charles Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

14
68 54
Steve Winwood is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Steve Winwood Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

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15
25 14
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Joe Zawinul Romantic music, World music, Jazz fusion

16
21 12
Jack McDuff is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
DaveMcCarthy added Jack McDuff Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Rhythm and blues

17
45 35
Rick DePiro is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rick DePiro Rock music, Jazz, Country

18
47 37
Brian Auger is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Brian Auger Jazz fusion

19
42 34
Tony Banks is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tony Banks Rock music, Classical music, Pop rock

20
34 27
Rod Argent is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rod Argent Pop music, Rock music, Progressive rock

21
21 15
Garth Hudson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
mccotis added Garth Hudson Americana, Pop music, Rock music

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22
47 42
Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Paul Shaffer Contemporary; Jazz; Blues

23
36 31
Gregg Allman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Gregg Allman Rock music, Gospel music, Country

24
22 17
John DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

25
67 63
Barbara Dennerlein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

26
24 20
Keith Jarrett is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Keith Jarrett Avant-garde jazz, Classical music, Smooth jazz

27
24 20
Al Kooper is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Al Kooper Rhythm and blues, Pop rock, Blues

28
29 26
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
John Paul Jones Blues-rock, Instrumental rock, Folk rock

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29
27 24
Richard Wright is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
JayWalker1 added Richard Wright Electronic music, Experimental rock, Jazz

30
24 21
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
George Gershwin Opera, Musical theatre, Film score

31
22 19
Gregg Rolie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Gregg Rolie Rock and roll, Hard rock

32
20 17
Jan Hammer is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Jan Hammer Synthpop, Pop music, Jazz fusion

33
20 17
Tom Coster is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tom Coster Rock music, Rock en Español, Jazz fusion

34
19 16
Don Airey is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Don Airey Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

35
16 13
Hugh Banton is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Hugh Banton Classical; Soul; Jazz; Blues

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36
15 12
Danny Federici is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Danny Federici Rock music, Smooth jazz, Jazz

37
23 21
Wild Bill Davis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Wild Bill Davis Country; Jazz; Blues

38
20 18
Kerry Minnear is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Kerry Minnear Christian music

39
15 13
Steve Walsh is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Steve Walsh Rock music, Progressive rock, Hard rock

40
27 26
Ken Hensley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Ken Hensley Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

41
10 8
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
AhmedYousef added Philip Glass Opera, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

42
4 2
Ron Levy is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Andujar added Ron Levy

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43
4 2
John Patton is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Andujar added John Patton

44
16 15
Patrick Moraz is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Patrick Moraz Electronic music, Jazz fusion, Progressive rock

45
16 15
Rick van der Linden is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Lonerider added Rick van der Linden Rock music, Progressive rock

46
15 14
John Evan is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
John Evan Rock music, Alternative rock, Progressive rock

47
14 13
Felix Cavaliere is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Felix Cavaliere Blue-eyed soul, Rock music, Soft rock

48
14 13
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slaft added John Evans

49
13 12
Dave Sinclair is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Dave Sinclair

50
12 11
Milt Buckner is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History