Music

The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time 

Ranker Music
Updated November 24, 2019 19.3k votes 3.3k voters 79.9k views 190 items

List Rules The absolute best saxophone players of all time. Vote up the best saxophonists.

These musicians, both living and dead, have forever shaped different genres and styles of music with their incredible talent with the saxophone. The saxophone is a reed instrument that is used in a variety of musical genres and left its mark on many eras. Who are the greatest saxophonists of all time?
 
The saxophone is one of the most popular instruments in the woodwind family, and mastering the craft of playing it can take years of practice The musicians featured on this list have proven their talent and are regarded as the best, whether in jazz, classical, or other types of music.
 
This list features the best saxophonists of all time, ranked as the best by music lovers. This list includes greats like John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Sonny Rollins, John Zorn, Eric Dolphy, and Joshua Redman. Vote up the best saxophone players below and see where the musicians you think are great rank.
list ordered by
1
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
2
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
3
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
4
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
5
Stan Getz is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
6
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
7
Michael Brecker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
sandovalarturo1 added
8
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
9
Paul Desmond is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
10
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
11
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
12
Joe Henderson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
13
Sonny Stitt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
14
Ben Webster is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
15
Hank Mobley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
16
Gerry Mulligan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
17
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
18
Ornette Coleman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
19
Johnny Hodges is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Joe Kaestner added
20
Art Pepper is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
21
Phil Woods is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
22
Joshua Redman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
23
Branford Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
24
Jackie McLean is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
25
Pharoah Sanders is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time