Bands/Musicians The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time  

Ranker Music
16.9k votes 2.9k voters 71.5k views 194 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.
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list ordered by
1
984 208
John Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop
2
797 160
Charlie Parker is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Jazz, Bebop
3
484 140
Sonny Rollins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz
4
347 107
Dexter Gordon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Swing music, Hard bop, Jazz
5
407 134
Cannonball Adderley is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Jazz
6
317 100
Lester Young is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
7
406 142
Stan Getz is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Cool jazz, Jazz, West Coast jazz
8
306 106
Wayne Shorter is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Crossover jazz, Third stream, Hard bop
9
221 67
Sonny Stitt is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
J√°litonFerreira added Hard bop, Jazz, Bebop
10
244 78
Joe Henderson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Kozmigroov, Hard bop, Jazz fusion
11
329 119
Paul Desmond is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Joe Kaestner added Cool jazz, West Coast jazz
12
270 93
Coleman Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Swing music, Bebop
13
369 144
Michael Brecker is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
sandovalarturo1 added Rock music, Jazz fusion, Rhythm and blues
14
203 64
Ben Webster is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
15
188 60
Hank Mobley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
16
165 49
Johnny Hodges is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Joe Kaestner added Ballad, Swing music
17
186 62
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Third stream, Post-bop
18
166 53
Art Pepper is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Joe Kaestner added Cool jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop
19
188 65
Gerry Mulligan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Joe Kaestner added Cool jazz, Third stream, Jazz
20
196 76
Ornette Coleman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Jazz fusion, Free funk
21
135 45
Phil Woods is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Andujar added Crossover jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop
22
89 23
Chris Potter is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Deaver added
23
108 41
Jackie McLean is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Hard bop, Jazz fusion, Post-bop
24
106 42
Rahsaan Roland Kirk is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time
Joe Kaestner added Avant-garde jazz, Hard bop, Post-bop
25
148 70
Joshua Redman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Saxophonists of All Time