Robert Anthony "Tony" Gieske worked for 11 metropolitan newspapers, including the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and spent 18 years at the Hollywood Reporter. "A top-notch jazz reviewer/historian, photographer and copy editor," the Reporter story says, Gieske "reviewed countless shows, often taking the wonderful photographs that accompanied his words." He died Saturday at home in Valley Village at age 82.
At the [Washington] Post, where he worked from 1955-62, Gieske was among the first newspaper writers to interview jazz legends John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk, among many others.
A devotee of Dizzy Gillespie, Gieske, who played the cornet, reviewed hundreds of jazz shows for THR – including the two-day Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl each year -- and often took the mesmerizing photos that accompanied his insightful text. He knew how to turn a phrase and was among the leading jazz experts in the nation.
The charming Gieske, who attended Kenyon College and George Washington University, also was one of the best headline writers at THR and expertly handled the “Clips” section in the front of the paper each day.