View Poll Results: Favourite Guitarist

1140. You may not vote on this poll
  • John Scofield

    117 10.26%
  • Bill Frisell

    73 6.40%
  • Django Reinhardt

    148 12.98%
  • Wes Montgomery

    321 28.16%
  • Jim Hall

    150 13.16%
  • Joe Pass

    256 22.46%
  • Pat Metheny

    146 12.81%
  • Kurt Rosenwinkel

    69 6.05%
  • John Mclaughlin

    60 5.26%
  • John Abercrombie

    25 2.19%
  • Lee Ritenour

    24 2.11%
  • Pat Martino

    96 8.42%
  • Tal Farlow

    61 5.35%
  • Barney Kessel

    85 7.46%
  • Allan Holdsworth

    49 4.30%
  • George Benson

    136 11.93%
  • Grant Green

    110 9.65%
  • Jimmy Raney

    47 4.12%
  • Charlie Christian

    75 6.58%
  • Kenny Burrell

    147 12.89%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #51

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    Don't want to slate anyone who likes the guy, but I've always wondered why kenny burrell is so respected amongst jazzers? I've scoured through hours of his music but not yet found anything particularly illuminating or harmonically interesting; and to be honest it doesnt sound very soulful either; anyone be able to help me maybe I'm just not listening right at the moment?


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  3. #52

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    check out "midnight blue" or my personal favorite kenny on record, a slightly hard to track down split with donald byrd called "all night long." (it's on CD, thru prestige now, i think) kenny's not gonna wow you, but he is soulful--what have you been listening to?

    if you really need to hear him burn, check out his album with john coltrane, cleverly titled--"kenny burrell and john coltrane."

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by seanlowe
    Don't want to slate anyone who likes the guy, but I've always wondered why kenny burrell is so respected amongst jazzers? I've scoured through hours of his music but not yet found anything particularly illuminating or harmonically interesting; and to be honest it doesnt sound very soulful either; anyone be able to help me maybe I'm just not listening right at the moment?
    I feel exactly that about Grant Green. Everytime I read something about him it seems so exagerated.
    I guess these guys were real professionals that above all, who did their work. They did not play to be famous, to be the best, to be outstanding, etc., although in the end they left pleasant stuff for us to listen to. Nowadays we think differently. We have raised our patterns, partly due to information society we live in. I'm not sure it is better, thou...

    joao pedro

  5. #54

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    why not Oscar Alemán?, if some of you want to hear some of his records.... let me know and I will send you the torrent file.


  6. #55

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    If I had to pick one, even though I like so many players, it would have to be John McLaughlin. What hasn't he attempted? I pick him for the way he has made his music an adventure. In spite of how great so many other guys are, I don't know of anyone in all of jazz, let alone guitar, that has explored so much in thier music.

  7. #56

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    The best jazz guitarist is an impossible title. There are so many guys that are so good, it would depent on the style, song, and day of the week.

    Lately I have been really digging on Scotty Anderson, and while not classified as "jazz player", (although he really is), this guys is such a monster that he could play with any of them, and most people don't even know who he is. If you haven't heard him look him up on YouTube or get one of his CDs. There is just no good reason for anyone to play that good, it just makes us normal people look bad.

  8. #57

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    obviously its george benson, not counting the techniques and scales since everyone in the list has superb talent...but the way george performs looks like he's in pain...the passion he brings while playing separates him from the other guys..yes joe pass is a great guitarist and deserves to be called "the genius"..but personally i would go for the power, dynamics and performance with tremendous spirit by mr. benson..

  9. #58

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    i completely agree pete will, metheny is definately my biggest inspiration his "we live here" record in particular and hes one of the most passionate players ive ever seen, theres a really deep commitment to music in there, one incredible musician

  10. #59

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    I completely stopped playing roughly 12 years ago. Burn-out. There are many
    folks with many stories about burn-out. Not this forum. I am wood-shedding
    again and the heart is returning. I, believe it or not, tend to wood-shed, country. Easier to find real work and get paid, I hope. I'm finding the business
    has really changed.

    Anyway, I keep thinking about major league session players, like Ray Flacke and Brent Mason. Brent Mason the country star today and an incredible jazzer.
    Danny Gatton needs to be on the list, a major country influence for me.
    Country players tend to play most anything and everything, some not known
    for jazz.

  11. #60

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    Sorry to be casting stones, but I think a real poll of jazz guitarists is incomplete, if not utterly meaningless, without mentioning Lenny Breau.

    He might not be the most accessible or the most interesting to all tastes, but he really is a cut above and beyond most of your elections. I wouldn't have expected him to win, but to not be mentioned is unforgivable.

    I wouldn't have minded seeing Ed Bickert in there as well, he reminds me a little of Jim Hall (my best of the rest selection) in a different kind of way.

    Shields up! Sulu, get us out of here.

  12. #61

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    I think Joe Pass is the greater guitar player plus musician at all.

    Besides, I believe every jazz guitar players have their own "touch" styling and not easy to compare with .
    Please, try to listen to Oscar Aleman (Django style). He was great enough!!!
    Walter Malosetti, Ricardo Pellican, Ricardo Lew and others from Argentina.

    Good luck everybody !!!!

  13. #62
    I voted for Pat Metheny...I love his music, his sound, the way he play and how he mix all the ingredients to make you feel in another a more relaxing place...a beautifull place...

    also i want to vote for Guthrie Govan...but he isn't it's the best for me...=P

    listen to Watercolors album...and call me in the morning...

  14. #63

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    If possible, Bill Frisell really seems to be almost at the 'country' side of jazz playing. It's a bit like he took creatively where Les Paul stopped years ago (even thought he still plays).

    An enjoyably unique style of playing IMHO.

  15. #64

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    i love the sound of jim hall,the first time i heard him play some chords it was like hearing a piano.

  16. #65

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    hi !
    my favorite guitarist is a jazz gypsy french guitarist : Bireli Lagrene , not listed but so amazing and easy player...

  17. #66

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    Hello everyone this is my second post (first one was on the topic What are you listening right now)
    I voted Pat Martino because he's to me one of the most thrilling players ever, not only on guitar (hope thrilling means what I think I'm spanish and my english is not that great), I voted him because of his personal story, truly an example to any musician

    of course I could have voted another one (glad to see Rosenwinkel on the list)
    un saludo!

  18. #67
    I would have liked to see Coryell on the list. I understand that he is not a traditionalists favorite. I like the fact that he is fearless and inovative. This is truly a great list. I find my self going through phases of listening. Right now it is Pat Martino.

  19. #68

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    What a difficult choise to make...
    When I think about it, there are many guitarists I'd rank no 1, each for a different reason.
    Forced to make a choise, I have to stick with Grant Green. I just love his tone & feel, especially during the "Live at the Lighthouse"-period. Besides that, he definitely opened the door for jazzmusic to me... So, Grant it will be.

  20. #69

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    Larry Coryell, Johnny Smith, Charlie Christian, Eddie Lang ...

  21. #70

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    Hey Guys, The choices are awesome. Also the names the members have suggested are very good. However, I think "Martin Taylor" should have topped them all or at least been mentioned. In my meek knowledge he is one of the best that evolved in this generation. I do not have to say much. If you have not heard of him you are missing so much. Check him out. A true original.
    I apologize if he has been mentioned before and did not read it.

  22. #71

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    I'm assuming we get one vote.
    Having studied with Metheny, I was tempted.
    Of course, without Charlie Christian, Wes, Jim Hall, Freddie Green
    Joe Pass and Django, we don't have jazz guitar.
    So I vote for the guy who's moving beyond the narrow parameters of
    having to swing and play symetric diminished scales over every 5 chord -
    Bill Frissell. Kurt Rosenwinkel makes it tough. Metheny has transcended the bounderies but all of those guys defy cliche and expand the tradition.
    It's nice to see someone wave the flag of tradition but the growing of the thing is so important. It ain't the hats, it ain't the 32nd note lines, it's the music.

  23. #72

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    It is simply impossible to vote for the "best" guitarist or your favorite player. It changes like the seasons. Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery deserve the respect. They were masters. For those who haven't heard him (he is a little esoteric), Tommy Crook is one of the best living guitarists, Tuck Andress (Tuck and Patti) is another.

  24. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynton
    It is simply impossible to vote for the "best" guitarist or your favorite player. It changes like the seasons. Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery deserve the respect. They were masters. For those who haven't heard him (he is a little esoteric), Tommy Crook is one of the best living guitarists, Tuck Andress (Tuck and Patti) is another.
    I disagree- at least on the 'favorite' jazz guitarist part. I definitely have my favorites, along with a list of POPULAR 'jazz' guitarists (to remain nameless at this particular juncture, whom I personally think are over-rated hacks who have a particular gimmick or person who 'discovered' them that made them famous...

    I also believe that for every 'famous' guitarist or jazz musician there are probably at least a dozen incredible prodigies who are content to play out and/or teach locally and never go national or get 'discovered.'

    I think few would be able to dispute that at the very least Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian were legendary jazz guitar innovators who could play the socks off most of these others... Interestingly enough, none of them were formally 'educated' musically- they all learned by starting early, playing and practicing often, getting out where the local greats played as often as possible, and having a 24-7 passion for the instrument and art...

    That can't be taught, and isn't even always 'popular' or 'famous'.

    They each overcame major challenges as well- Django was maimed in a fire on his fretting hand, Wes and Charlie came from humble beginnings and Joe began playing for his father and his friends at an inner city bar...

    They loved it and they lived it and they had that something that put them in a class by themselves- that innate ability to master the tonal and harmonic vocabulary in their own time in their own unique way.

    That is part of why they are my 'favorites.' Are there others? Of course! Do we learn bits and pieces from many different players then hopefully develop our own style? of course- but we all have our influential mentors and heroes, if you will, if we are being honest with ourselves.

    The musician who says they are COMPLETELY original is either in denial or just a good liar/ unconscious borrower. We owe each of these pioneering players a huge debt of gratitude for helping lead the way...



  25. #74

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    Dear coleagues! We are only choosing our favorite, but we are not choosing the best... Who we are to judge?

  26. #75

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    so, lately i've been introduced to and start to listen to some different people whom i love greatly.
    like charles, Bireli Lagrene has really touched me. he's got some really really nice music. very complex (although it may not seem so at first) and nice to listen to.
    Jody Fisher is a truly exceptional finger picker. he uses that fast upper 12th fret finger harmonics that tommy emmanuel uses for somewhere over the rainbow. he always has a very mellowish tone to his guitar and fingerpicks as if he were playing all the parts of a whole band. he also uses very meshing (goes together) chords that are so natural.
    at last but not least, Robert Conti!!! i've never heard the name before. i'm not sure how i heard of him actually but supposedly he is pretty well known by a lot of people. just listen to him on youtube, u'll understand why i love him.

  27. #76

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    Wes Montgomery by a short head from Joe Pass

  28. #77

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    Hello to all, new to this forum but not to an admiration of great guitar playing!

    I found myself listening to a lot of Jimmy Bruno in 2007.

    An incredible mix of technique & style.
    Totally inspiring & uplifting.............

    Grant Green would be #2, For the same reasons!

  29. #78

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    I'll go with Joe Pass. Right now, he's my favorite, but I also listen to Kenny Burrell alot, especially "Midnight Blue" and Kenny with Coltrane.

  30. #79

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    Joe Pass is the guy I find myself listening to and learning from most often, although obvious names like Django, C. Christian and Wes are irreplacably brilliant too.

    Like one previous poster, I've never really understood the appeal of Kenny Burrell. He's a good player, and a hell of a lot better than I am, for sure, but much of an album like 'Midnight Blue' just sounds too obvious for these ears. Having said that, there is a good youtube clip of him jamming with Barney Kessel and Grant Green where I think he tops them both.

  31. #80

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    Wes Montgomery

  32. #81
    Chordon Bleu Guest
    Larry Coryell-hes not on the list and so I vote for George Benson. Two very different players but both bery inspiring.

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by mf1941
    Hello to all, new to this forum but not to an admiration of great guitar playing!

    I found myself listening to a lot of Jimmy Bruno in 2007.

    An incredible mix of technique & style.
    Totally inspiring & uplifting.............

    Grant Green would be #2, For the same reasons!
    With all due respect, Jimmy Bruno is one of the most over-rated jazz guitarists out there today. The guy has chops, but that seems to be all it is about for him- how fast he can play arpeggios and such...

    there is little attention to phrasing and unique melodic expression with him as far as I can tell... He lives in my area and all the rockers who want to say they studied jazz with him pay like $200/hr to have him teach them arpeggios, modes and velocity exercises...

    No thanks. There are much better players and teachers out there.

    Picking those two guys over Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Jim Hall and the rest of those legends?? Oh my... now I've heard it all...
    Last edited by peacemover; 01-25-2008 at 11:04 PM.

  34. #83

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    It's Joe Pass for me, but Django is a close second.

  35. #84

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    George Benson is the reason I took Jazz guitar as far as I have. I discovered his music about 11 years ago. I get an un-matched feeling when I listen to records like 'Bad Benson' and 'Breezin'.
    This is a tough poll, as I have so much passion for Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Smith (Someone VERY important who should have been on this list), Joe Pass, and Contemporary guys such as Norman Brown, Ronny Jordon, etc.

  36. #85
    I allready have voted but i have to reply on this. In the words of Joe Beck "Jimmt Bruno is an American treasure". He said this at a show in Jersey. As far as Jimmy as an educator, someone who teaches about a thousand students including jazz teachers from 27 countrys has to be doing something right. Overated i think not, you mean underrated, He has developed a method that has made me play the way id like to play. As far as feel goes it's in each individual players heart and soul.Jimmy plays whats in his heart and soul. What moves some won't move others.

  37. #86

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    Wes Montgomery is ever my favorite, but if I could vote and recognize all these great guitarists I also choice for All them. Each of them have attributes that make them be unique.
    The list is short, I did not see the names of: Billie Bauer,Herb Ellis, John Smith,Emyli Remler, Bobby Broom, Rodney Jones .......


  38. #87

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    I voted for Charlie Christian because he did it all. Sure the newer recordings sound better and others have taken things to a whole new leve,l like Lenny Breau and Jimmy Bruno, but if you listen to what Charlie was doing, and realize that it was all original, you just have to give him his due.

  39. #88

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    My favourite guitarist is Joe Pass

  40. #89

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    I will use the list to look out for names I am not familiar with. For me it simply had to be Joe Pass. I still remember the first time I listened to JP live in Montreux 1975 or 77 in my local library (couldn't afford records then) - it was back in the seventies, and I knew that was where I wanted to go. So I owe him all the fun and frustration I had for the last 30 years.
    If I could add another name, it would be Martin Taylor, who takes solo playing to a new level.

  41. #90

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    Lenny Breau, Ted Greene and Ed Bickert though they didn't make the list.......

  42. #91

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    All the guys on the list are great, as well as the other thousand who didnt make the list. But George Benson would have to get my vote because no one can do it like George does it. But all of these are personal opinions about the guitarist who gives us the most inspiration and ive grown to respect each musician for the hard work that they've put in to become who they are and where they are musicially.
    Last edited by Jazzflava; 03-07-2008 at 05:35 PM. Reason: misspelled words

  43. #92

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    Although I voted for Wes, I fully recognise that there are other, different, and great players out there.

    Yet there are good reasons for my choice, even though, as someone said, he did record some pretty bland stuff once he became well-known. In the 1960s a Californian girl-friend gave me an unavailable Wes album from the States knowing that I listened to him. I forget what it was called, except that it was absolutely dire. Got rid of it when she wasn't watching! However, I don't blame him for wanting some money, and anyway, he'd recorded some amazing stuff by then. This, unfortunately, is the crap world we live in where dross is financially lauded, and genius is ignored.

    But anyone who wants to hear the latter example ought to go no further than the live versions of Miles's No Blues on the Verve label with the Wynton Kelly Trio. The album (which I originally bought in the 1960s) is Smoking at the Half Note. Wes's solo is not just about technique, but is also the most incredible flow of ideas, one after the other. When one is developed, another follows quickly on. He literally drives the trio forward. It is musically staggering (which is the important thing), technically masterful, and just joyous to listen to. Having listened to it for forty years, I know every note...although I still can't play them.

    If you've never heard this, please do. I've even insisted that it's played at my funeral (12.56 long...make the buggers listen to it!)
    Last edited by Ged; 03-10-2008 at 04:55 PM.

  44. #93

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    Just so you know, John Mclaughlin and Jeff Beck were together on stage one day in San Jose. Jeff Beck is far better at jazz improv. But the best was Joe Pass no contest

  45. #94
    Jim Hall keeps it real; but I would have liked to vote for Lenny Breau.

  46. #95

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    Check out Angelo Debarre with Biréli Lagrène and Stochelo Rosenberg, in Vienne.


  47. #96

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    Hello gang, my first post. I voted Wes but I'm with Mr. Gordo on Larry Carlton. Amazing.

  48. #97

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    I voted Wes also, but i like Joe Pass a great deal also.

  49. #98

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    It's impossible to put together a poll that includes everybody's favourite - there are bound to be some great players who are overlooked and omitted.

    I voted for Django because he's my favourite on that list but I'm not sure if he'd get my vote if the list were to include Hank Garland, Lenny Breau and Ollie Halsall.

  50. #99

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    I voted for Abercrombie only because right now he's just my guy. I always have trouble picking between him and Jim Hall. Right now my connection to John is much stronger since I've gotten to hang and jam with him briefly. I learned more from him in 7 minutes then I did in a semester almost... bit of an exaggeration but not really.

    As far as Poll lists goes, I think this one is pretty good. It's again, like said impossible to really pick just 1 cat. I find it interesting that Joe Pass is leading the poll. Very interesting...

  51. #100

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    I dig Bill Frisell, John Abercrombie, Jim Hall, and Metheny. Those are the cats that have had more impact on what I do than any other guitarist.