JIMMY VARGAS & THE BLACK DAHLIASFormed by JIMMY VARGAS in San Francisco in 1993, the BLACK DAHLIAS, (so named after Hollywood's sainted and ill-fated Madonna of Los Angeles nineteen forties folklore, one Elizabeth Short) are dark expositors of the self-coined 'Tease, Torch, and Noir' genre.
The BLACK DAHLIAS' original soundtrack exploits the canon of a dream-world nineteen forties Americana, their illicit tunes birthed from the trellis of harlot parfum and the cracked shellac spinning out of a Hollywood pleasure house jukebox…
“Occupying a complete unique area - of off-kilter conceptual jazz noir for the striptease cocktail lounge set, produced with such love and authentic decadence that only a fool would fail to be entranced”
(DAVID FLINT...STRIPORAMA MAGAZINE...UK)
Jazz noir credentials aside, the BLACK DAHLIAS are essentially a cinematic experience trans-mutated live from a 'Poverty Row' B-picture reel.
While Vargas may well be the voice, it is his Argentinian exotic-sorceress Liliana Scarlatta who is the fortease fetish totem of their production.
Miss Scarlatta's terpsichoreal glamour is said to have been channeled direct from the MGM goddesses of soundstage past, while her ecdysiac gyrations both inspire and provoke the combos live set.
“She is absolutely entrancing...Vargas' music of sly grooves, and romantic sonnets of loss are undoubtedly created from the sexotic dna of his muse MIss Scarlatta...”
(TARA RITTER....FRIGHT X MAGAZINE...CANADA)
Miss Scarlatta is the consummate showgirl, whether it be vipering the pole, sinuating a saucy striptease, taunting with a torrid tango, or capricious cancan, Liliana is the spirited soubrette that divines Jimmy Vee's Ziegfeld noir universe.
What, however separates the Black Dahlias from other contemporary combos mining the vintage skein, is Vargas' own fresh compositions.
“There are no other writers like him...Not many musicians like him either...Vargas' work is dark and moody, bound tightly like garters to a pair of nylons, yet ethereal like wisps of cigarette smoke”
(JASON CROFT... JAVA BACHELOR PAD MAGAZINE...USA 2010)
For Vargas and his cohorts are not nor should be so regarded as merely a revival act. Theirs is what Vargas describes as a 'parallel life production'.
Vargas has one eye locked on the 21st Century, the other orb clicking over misty visions of his deincarne self as a racketeering sin alley Sinatra, who ungraciously expired under a fusillade of bullets in a Los Angeles bar on December 23rd 1947.
Or so the rumors around the chichi west coast boites go.
“Noir renaissance man Jimmy Vargas has answered the question, “How do you do market retro-fetishism in the 21st Century?...With his latest album. he shows how you can...Vargas is a pulp culture pimp who jazzes up the notion of nostalgia with provocative pinup art set to sensuous sax and ballsy blues. There’s nothing old-fashioned about Jimmy Vargas. His sinister style is timeless, frozen forever in a hedonistic hep-cat hell”
(WILL VIHARO...RETROSPECTIVE MAGAZINE USA 2011)
Jimmy Vargas and the Black Dahlias' kill chill credibility were established early in their career when in 1995, they were taken under the wing of that esteemed demon dog of American crime fiction JAMES ELLROY (he of LA CONFIDENTIAL, BLACK DAHLIA fame), who after hearing their first album EL TORCHTURA, demanded that they join him on his first celebrated East Coast tour, as backing band / noir confidantes. Both survived the IRS and ageing Hollywood hitmen.
With seven albums to date (their new disc of neo-40s latino torch and dark swing... LUST ANGELES being their latest), the BLACK DAHLIAS continue to spread the gospel of the tease, the torch, and the noir to Hepcats, swingers, Satanists, vamps and jazz heathens alike.
In August 2012, Jimmy Vargas signed with legendary Hollywood label DIONYSUS.
VARGAS’ literary expositions have finally found a home at DARK MOON PRESS with whom the crooner inked in MARCH 2013, seeing the release of his SHADOW BRIDE book series, with first novel available at Amazon on April 30th 2013.