Best Jazz Artists

The Top Ten

1 Miles Davis Miles Davis

most albums, songs; he invented a different kind of jazz

A true innovator. I don't know anything about Jazz, but the few albums I've heard by him blew me away

Miles really changed the game when it came to jazz music. If he wasn't around, I don't think we would've had artists like Robert Glasper and Christian Scott today. - Mcgillacuddy

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2 John Coltrane

he is such a freakin great saxaphonist. any jazz saxaphonist (like myself) studies him day in and day out and can only dream of being as good as him - fireinside96

His music is great but Davis was more creative.

3 Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong, nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer and singer who was one of the most influential figures in jazz.

While John Coltrane and Miles Davis are certainly worthy of consideration for being the greatest; I think it would be beyond unfair to rank them ahead of Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong for receiving that honor. Born a poor boy in New Orleans (1901), and then learning to play, sing and perform while developing the sound and style of Jazz music as it evolved throughout it's height in the 1920's-1940's, has made him one of the most influential and iconic musicians not only of Jazz, but of the 20th Century altogether. Not only was his wide and colorful smile unique and inviting, but he also possessed a unique signature voice that emoted the blues and performed insane trumpet solos that have never been duplicated to the effect that he had captured with an audience. Just take a listen again to masterpieces such as "I Get Jealous", "Blueberry Hill", "Shadrack", "Skokian", "What A Wonderful World", La Vie En Rose", "Mack the Knife", "When the Saints Go Marching In". Similar to what another ...more

No matter who is the next generation of good Jazzmen/women, no matter how many classic jazz albums have come out, no matter how many good jazz instrumentals we hear or have heard, Louis Armstrong will be to jazz as Elvis was to rock, and Michael Jacskson was to pop. He will be the king of Jazz forever - greatesttop10s

*Louis Armstrong's instrument of choice that he performed insane solos on was primarily a coronet and not a trumpet, as I had mistakenly suggested in an earlier comment.

Yeah he's pretty good?

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4 Frank Sinatra Frank Sinatra Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century.

Don't understand why he is not at number one?

Frank Sinatra is timeless, he truly deserves the top place

He had the biggest voice ever "made"!

He should be number 1

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5 Duke Ellington Duke Ellington Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and bandleader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death in a career spanning over fifty years.

he is just awesome. I can't stop listening to him. Whenever I open Itunes, the first song I listen to is always one of Duke Ellington's songs.

He's the best of the best his music is inspiring and he composed and played his whole life like 50 years

Sir Duke should be 1 or 2. A great pianist and composer. Surely better than 5 on list.

6 Django Reinhardt Django Reinhardt

Greatest guitarist of all time

A Gypsy Jazz Man. Who'the thunk it? Only in America. We are blessed.

He is my idol!

7 Charlie Parker

Really, #9... Name any jazz musician who could solo as good as "bird"... Still can't think of one? Exactly!

8 Herbie Hancock

My new favorite jazz artist (with me being a saxaphonist Bennie's work is the key element for me). - fireinside96

9 Norah Jones Norah Jones

Norah Jones as 6? No offense, but this must be a joke. - classick

10 Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald Ella Jane Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer often referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz and Lady Ella.

Ella Fitzgerald should be right at the top of this list. No one does ballads and up-tempo numbers with the same fluency and consistency as Ella. Even fellow greats like Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington and Ira Gershwin have praised her beyond themselves

It's hard to believe that this lady is so low down on this list. I love Amy Winehouse, she had an incredible Jazz voice but to place her above Ella? Come on! - Britgirl

One of the best singers ever and a queen of jazz

I adore this woman. She's just amazing. - Britgirl

The Contenders

11 Return to Forever

Absolutely! One of Jazz's all-time best groups. Their first album, "Return to Forever," is a gem and one of my very favorites.

Their album "Romantic Warrior" is jazz fusion at its finest. - BrideiMacBella

Sorry. I had not heard of this group, vut will look it up

12 Tony Bennett

He's still got it. Don't belive me? Listen to the album Cheek To Cheek he made with Lady Gaga, who, by the way also has an incredible rich voice for Jazz. - Britgirl

13 Charles Mingus

Crazy and weird, yet not free chaos. Structured chaos is Mingus

The liner notes on one of his albums are from his physcologist. That tells you how good he is!

If you don't think he's the best, listen to hatian fight song. The End

The angry man of jazz.
The man that never compromized.
The genius of jazz!

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14 Weather Report
15 Amy Winehouse Amy Winehouse Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer and songwriter known for her deep expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz. She is also a well-known member of the 27 Club, as she overdosed on alcohol at age 27.

Amy Winehouse absolutely does not get the credit she deserves. What my generation, and even some of the older generations seem to have an extremely difficult time understanding is she LIVED the jazz lifestyle! Our greatest jazz vocalist and other jazz musicians have been through some of the same things (i.E. - Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker) The difference is, following her horrid relationship with her ex husband and her bad decision to engage in hard drugs she was "raped" for lack of better word by the ridiculous tabloids. There are no words good enough to describe how huge her talent is, as both a singer and song writer. The standards she has sang are impeccable and her own material is original, thought provoking and beyond a pleasure to listen to.

She had just something special. If you only listen to the sound if her voice (and not to the lyrics) you know what she's singing about.

And her lyrics: I haven't understood yet how a person can put so many emotions in a few words... she was a personality, there isn't another person who is as 'different' as her.

She is THE jazz musician for me, I'll never forget her! - AllRockMusicGirl

Amy was an incredible talent with a totally unique voice who was enjoyable whether drunk or sober. Too bad she said no, no, no.

She isn't jazz. More like R&B.

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16 Mahavishnu Orchestra

Maybe more on the rock side than jazz, but the styles and purely insane masturbation produced in the music makes them one of the best in all jazz rock/fusion.

17 Chick Corea

Unbelievable keyboard player... The melodic lines he thinks of on the spot are inconceivable!

18 Billie Holiday Billie Holiday Eleanora Fagan, professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years.

Are you guys kidding me? Billie Holiday is one of the jazz greats! Everything about her is amazing... Her signature style of singing half a beat behind but never off tune and the obvious pain and experience in her voice as she sings. Honestly... When she sings it lets you know that no one will ever sing like that again... The era of great jazz singers is over...

19 Al Di Meola Al Di Meola Al Di Meola is an American jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist, composer, and record producer of Italian origin.
20 Dizzy Gillespie
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600 votes
99 listings
9 years, 244 days old

Top Remixes (8)

1. Duke Ellington
2. John Coltrane
3. Miles Davis
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1. Django Reinhardt
2. Charlie Christian
3. Wes Montgomery
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2. John Coltrane
3. Charlie Parker
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