The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary

View Poll Results: Favourite Guitarist

1210. You may not vote on this poll
  • John Scofield

    125 10.33%
  • Bill Frisell

    81 6.69%
  • Django Reinhardt

    152 12.56%
  • Wes Montgomery

    339 28.02%
  • Jim Hall

    161 13.31%
  • Joe Pass

    269 22.23%
  • Pat Metheny

    155 12.81%
  • Kurt Rosenwinkel

    75 6.20%
  • John Mclaughlin

    63 5.21%
  • John Abercrombie

    27 2.23%
  • Lee Ritenour

    26 2.15%
  • Pat Martino

    104 8.60%
  • Tal Farlow

    63 5.21%
  • Barney Kessel

    93 7.69%
  • Allan Holdsworth

    58 4.79%
  • George Benson

    145 11.98%
  • Grant Green

    121 10.00%
  • Jimmy Raney

    49 4.05%
  • Charlie Christian

    76 6.28%
  • Kenny Burrell

    158 13.06%
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  1. #1

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    Who's your favorite jazz guitarist?

    Sorry for any shortcomings of this poll, it is only guitarists and obviously there is more than ten around, but thats the max option.


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  3. #2

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    wow, that was a tough one. I had to pick Joe Pass. I never get tired of his records or watching his concert videos. While some of the other guys on there maybe have been flashier or whatever. Pass played with real class, something you really cant teach.
    while I do enjoy Abercrombie alot for his originality and Wes, he just had superb phrasing. sometimes I listen and I am amazed on how fresh his improv consistently sounded. I dont know if anybody has ever really emulated his playing successfully (and we all know that its been attempted)

  4. #3

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    I had to go with Wes Montgomery. He is what brought me into jazz in the first place.

    I believe you forgot Charlie Christian though. I would think he would be in the top ten jazz guitarists.

  5. #4

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    Oh, wow. This was a tough choice. I mean, whats to gauge a favorite? Is it the guy that did the most for jazz? the most unique style? prettiest tone? Really, you can make favorites but in same way or another I'm sure every one of them has changed our ideas of jazz guitar for the better. Personally I don't have a favorite Jazz guitarist. Most of my style is influenced by guys who play piano bass or horn, anyways.


  6. #5

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    I think George Benson should also have made the list. Although maybe not quite as sophisticated as the others, his record 'Giblet Gravy' has forever changed the way I think of guitar in a band context.

    Another of note: Jeff Beck. Although not strictly jazz, any of you who have heard his records "Blow by Blow" and "Wired" know that this guy's a serious musician. Very expressive, tone for days...


  7. #6

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    I had to go with Joe Pass. His "Portraits of Duke Ellington" Album blew my mind and got me into Jazz guitar. I listen to everyone on the listen and enjoy them all very much, such a hard choice ..

  8. #7

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    i'd go with jim hall out of who's posted here, but my favorites are grant green, jimmy raney, ed bickert and barry galbraith.

  9. #8

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    I, too, went with Wes Montgomery as far as jazz guitarists are concerned. He's the player I listen to the most and whose songs and style I've been focused on since I switched from rock/metal to jazz in 2005.

    However, John McLaughlin was the guitarist who first inspired me to take up the guitar in secondary school, after hearing Mahavishnu's "Dance of Maya", and I've been a huge fan of all his work ever since the mid 1970's. But I recognized early on that I simply can't play in his style, and am too influenced by the blues.

    Gabriel mentioned Jeff Beck and I agree with him. Listening to "Blow by Blow" and "Wired" showed me how to make the transition from blues rock into jazz before I began listening to Wes, Grant Green, Kenny Burrell, etc. Beck still does one of my favorite versions of "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" (although I love McLaughlin's version on "My Goals Beyond").

    Pat Martino is another big favorite of mine, particularly his Eastern-influenced, modal work on "Baiyina (The Clear Evidence)".

  10. #9

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    Pat Martino and Tal Farlow should also be here. May be I would have chosen one of them. I think both have a great technique and musicality.

  11. #10

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    That is a tough question. So many great ones especially if you consider their style, era or even a specific geography. Maybe it is a good idea to have a list to pick from on the first pole. I selected Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass. Tal Farlow is actually one of my favorites as well as Brian Hughes and Joe Negri. They are two current players from Toronto and Pittsburgh, respectively, that are awesome guitarists.

  12. #11

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    Ouch! Some of my favorites are missing from your list!

    1) Jimmy Raney (all time king of bebop guitar)
    2) Doug Raney (like his father with strong Pat Martino influence--killer chops!)
    3) Howard Roberts
    4) Howard Alden
    5) Joe Diorio
    6) etc., etc.....

  13. #12

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    The great Charlie Christian, who is always modern, John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Eddie Lang, Barney Kessel, Kenny Burrell, ....
    We could go on and on...

    I guess the best would be to have a big list and we would choose from 1 to 5 to score.

  14. #13

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    Okay so lest pretend for a moment that the list had ALL of our favourites, then we'd end up with nobody voting for half of them! I mean whats the worth of this poll other than to get an idea for who the major influeces of the other guitarists here are? I mean the poll was going to be submitted sooner or later anyways. Thank Seanlowe for taking the initiative.


  15. #14

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    Case in point: nobody has voted for Frisell yet, and though you may like his stuff, with names like Pass and Montgomery, you wouldn't vote for the little guys, would you.

  16. #15

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    Mine are a little older.
    Al Viola (Sinatra right hand), Hank Garland (swing country jazz picker that had a very rough and short music life), Chuck Wayne, unbelievable! (Bach fugue on the spot and his students, too), a few others I can't think of at the moment. Joe Diorio... ah...
    Still Jim Hall, my favorite, at the moment, even though I've been influenced by so many; old and new and upcoming.

  17. #16

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    I chose Joe Pass from that list. Surprised that I haven't seen a mention of Larry Carlton anywhere here, seeing him at Montreaux (unfortunately on tv, rather than live but still) got me into jazz.

  18. #17

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    When Joe Pass would visit my area in the late 70's to do master seminars, Charlie Encinosa would proctor and assist Joe Pass. I studied with Charlie.
    Joe Pass IS one of my favorites. Gee, when they get that good, it's extremely
    difficult to pick. Sandy Devito, a protege of Chuck Wayne; got to study with
    him also. Unbelievable guitarists. Made me, almost, want to quit.
    I just like Carlton's style. One of the first guys that could make rock and
    roll lyrical, if that's possible. Right and wrong notes in the right place.
    I was just thinking of influences that weren't on the list. Just making the
    list, must have been tough.

  19. #18

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    Saying the list is short is an understatement. You would have a hard time keeping the list to 100 or even 500, there are just so many good jazz guitarists.

    My real favorite, if I HAD to pick one would be Lee Ritenour, because Lee can do it all from Brazillian Jazz to Big Band Swing, and he does it all well. He's not locked into a particular groove. He can rock and he's not ashamed to and he does Wes better than Wes.

    But I could add another hundred without hardly trying.

  20. #19

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    I voted for McLaughlin, but would have voted for Kenny Burrell, Mimi Fox or Larry Coryell over him if we are just talking pure enjoyment in listening for me.

  21. #20

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    I hate to be THAT guy, cuz you did admit the limits of the list...But no list of fav modern jazz guitarists can be taken seriously without inclusion of my friend and fellow Philadelphian, THE VELVET HAMMER OF PAT MARTINO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. #21

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    Wow another vote for a guy who's still alive (Pat Martino), good for you. I love that Pat Martino signature Gibson, cool guitar.

  23. #22

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    My #1 fav, Kenny Burrell, isn't on the poll, but I understand the size limitation, and two other favs are on......Wes and Joe P. I voted Wes because his playing is just a bit "smokier" than JP in my book. Loved the comments about Benson's Giblet Gravy........that's a CD I love, and I like Benson a lot as well. Guess I have lots of "favs". And there is a guitarist I hadn't heard of so I will look him up and perhaps find yet another fav. Thanks, all.

  24. #23

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    Anthony Wilson...watching him play with Diana Krall is a real treat; good CD's also.

  25. #24

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  26. #25

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    Althoug I love, CC, JP, and WM, the first most creative, intense, and technically amazing was Django.
    All the above guitarists were influence by Django early in their career, as were so many other jazz greats.
    Django may have adopted many American music styles, but he had no prior guitarist to get an influence from.

    Django blazed the trail of the modern jazz guitarist. IMHO, he should be the first in this illustrious list.