Looking for an answer to something like this? “I love Bill Evans, Monk, and Keith Jarrett. But I don’t even know where to start with most of these modern guys.” Well, here’s a list of contemporary pianists that will get you off on the right foot. I recommend starting at the top and working your way down.
The following lists represent a group of amazing jazz musicians.
This is entirely my opinion. If you know jazz, you probably disagree with me.
In fact, I would hope you disagree and have an opinion of your own. Jazz is an inherently subjective matter. Creating a finite list and then applying a rank-order to anything this personal is an absurdly biased exercise. Thus, this is by no means the gold standard, nor is it a survey or peer reviewed study, and the exact rank order should be taken with a humongous grain of earthy salt scraped from the bed of the Dead Sea.