music The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History  

Ranker Music
3.9k votes 506 voters 12.8k 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
121 27
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Fats Waller Stride, Ragtime, Swing music

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2
62 18
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
64 26
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Herbie Hancock Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

4
58 22
Chick Corea is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Chick Corea Kozmigroov, Fusion, Avant-garde jazz

5
106 78
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
93 67
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
65 46
Billy Preston is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Billy Preston Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Soul music

8
86 65
Jon Lord is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
HerbertHöpfl added Jon Lord Blues-rock, Rock music, Heavy metal

9
70 51
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
29 15
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Ray Charles Soul blues, Pop music, Rock music

11
71 54
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
23 11
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Joe Zawinul Romantic music, World music, Jazz fusion

13
66 52
Steve Winwood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Steve Winwood Blues-rock, Blue-eyed soul, Rock music

14
73 60
Ray Manzarek is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
MarySSpiegel added Ray Manzarek Blues-rock, Rock music, Jazz fusion

15
50 40
Booker T. Jones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Booker T. Jones Instrumental rock, Electric blues, Rhythm and blues

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16
44 36
Brian Auger is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Brian Auger Jazz fusion

17
41 34
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
39 33
Tony Banks is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tony Banks Rock music, Classical music, Pop rock

19
32 26
Rod Argent is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Rod Argent Pop music, Rock music, Progressive rock

20
24 18
Al Kooper is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Al Kooper Rhythm and blues, Pop rock, Blues

21
17 11
Jack McDuff is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
DaveMcCarthy added Jack McDuff Jazz-funk, Hard bop, Rhythm and blues

22
46 41
Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Paul Shaffer Contemporary; Jazz; Blues

23
23 18
Keith Jarrett is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Keith Jarrett Avant-garde jazz, Classical music, Smooth jazz

24
32 28
Gregg Allman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Gregg Allman Rock music, Gospel music, Country

25
20 16
Kerry Minnear is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Kerry Minnear Christian music

26
20 16
Jan Hammer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Jan Hammer Synthpop, Pop music, Jazz fusion

27
20 16
John DeFrancesco is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

28
16 12
Hugh Banton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Hugh Banton Classical; Soul; Jazz; Blues

29
64 62
Barbara Dennerlein is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

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30
28 25
John Paul Jones is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
John Paul Jones Blues-rock, Instrumental rock, Folk rock

31
26 23
Richard Wright is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
JayWalker1 added Richard Wright Electronic music, Experimental rock, Jazz

32
21 18
Gregg Rolie is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Gregg Rolie Rock and roll, Hard rock

33
19 16
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
18 15
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
14 11
Danny Federici is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Danny Federici Rock music, Smooth jazz, Jazz

36
27 25
Ken Hensley is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Ken Hensley Rock music, Heavy metal, Pop rock

37
10 7
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
AhmedYousef added Philip Glass Opera, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

38
22 20
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
George Gershwin Opera, Musical theatre, Film score

39
22 20
Wild Bill Davis is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Wild Bill Davis Country; Jazz; Blues

40
16 14
Patrick Moraz is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Patrick Moraz Electronic music, Jazz fusion, Progressive rock

41
15 13
John Evan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
John Evan Rock music, Alternative rock, Progressive rock

42
15 13
Garth Hudson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
mccotis added Garth Hudson Americana, Pop music, Rock music

43
5 3
Alice Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Andujar added Alice Coltrane Kozmigroov, Avant-garde jazz, Jazz

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44
15 14
George Duke is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added George Duke Crossover jazz, Sophisti-pop, Smooth jazz

45
15 14
Tony Kaye is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Tony Kaye Progressive rock

46
15 14
Doug Ingle is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Doug Ingle Acid rock, Instrumental, Psychedelic rock

47
15 14
Rick van der Linden is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Lonerider added Rick van der Linden Rock music, Progressive rock

48
15 14
Vincent Crane is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Vincent Crane Blues-rock, Rock music, Progressive rock

49
26 26
Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
slaft added Billy Joel Blue-eyed soul, Pop music, Rock music

50
14 13
Graham Bond is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History
Graham Bond Blues-rock, Rhythm and blues, Jazz