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1 Pat Metheny Extraordinary achievements down through the decades whether on world tours with the Pat Metheny Group, his own innovations (for instance the pioneering use of guitar synthesizer and his own 'robot' Orchestrion) or with such icons of free music as Ornette Coleman and Derek Bailey and in his interpretations of the music of John Zorn, the Missourian continues a story picked up by Charlie Christian and continued by Wes Montgomery in terms of innovation, new dialects and vocabulary, sheer virtuosity and joy in performance.
2 George Benson. The ultimate communicator.
3 John Scofield. A bluesician at heart.
4 John McLaughlin. Into the mystic: IndoJazz innovator.
5 Carlos Santana. Latin-jazz and rock master.
6 Kenny Burrell. Made history with Jimmy Smith.
7 Bill Frisell. Guitar everyman. Americana and freebop distilled.
8 Terje Rypdal. Prog jazz exemplar and icon.
9 Lionel Loueke: Afrojazz innovator.
10 Eivind Aarset: Scandi “futurejazz” innovator.
11 Mary Halvorson: Avant, post-Derek Bailey, icon.
12 Russell Malone Mainstream accompanist par excellence,
13 Kurt Rosenwinkel Consummate skill coming out of the heart of jazz.
14 Julian Lage: Now in his prime: can cover anything.
15 Marc Ribot: From Tom Waits to Ayler can do it all.
16 Phil Robson: influential jazz-rock consolidator.
17 Mike Stern: Has his own fearsome sound. Huge chops.
18 Mike Walker: north of England legend. Stylistically unique
19 Wolfgang Muthspiel: sublime chamber jazz practitioner and more.
20 Kevin Eubanks: knows how to reach the heart of the matter and communicate