#2
so many here are a few:
jack dejonette - plays the drums like a melodic instrument he's a great piano player as well
Alain Caron - he has so much bebop even when playing fusion
Pat martino - what a master, and he's story is out of this world
Yellow jackets - my fave fusion group
michel petrucciani - fantastic piano player
#3
My favourite jazz pianist is oscar peterson and favourite guitarist is joe pass.

They are my favorite because they are highly skilled and I like the music they think of.
#4
miles..style vision inventiveness..influence on so many great players

bill evans-piano..taste in note selection.. chord voicing using space as melodic content..

john scofield..making "out" sound in..chord structures

kenny burrell - a jazz/blues master..his work with jimmy smith is a guitar study in itself

billy colbham-another that plays drums with melodic overtones..first mahavishnu album is a class in beyond the possible..

Coltrane..exploration of inner realms..using harmony as a melodic device..

chic corea & herbie hancock for making determination tangible

many of todays fusion players-taking the art to new heights and attitudes..using past plateaus as springboards

wolf