Someday my prince will come with a shining spike full of horse. . . . Hampton Hawes' drug-and-booze-ridden career as a jazz pianist hit the skids in 1958 when Hawes drew a ten-year gig in a Texas slam. He got out by executive clemency after five -- he'd been entrapped as a dealer by an informer-user. Hawes' friends were fast going down the drain anyway when he got his enforced cure. We watch the wasting of Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray, Sonny Clark, Billie Holiday and other ""keepers of the flame,"" as Hawes calls the '40's and '50's jazz artists (""Bird had died in Nica Rothschild's apartment in New York. Went out too far on the limb and it broke. Well, shit, we ain't no super race, none of us going to be here more than twenty minutes."") Novelist Don Asher (The Eminent Yachtsman and the Whorehouse Piano Player) has caught Hawes' voice lovingly in this ""as told to."" Some of Hawes' tales as a snowblind dogface in Japan are hilarious; others lack enough chord changes for deep interest. No Bird Lives! or Bix (KR, p. 356).