Born in Switzerland in 2003 to an opera singer father and violinist mother, Anais Reno moved with her parents to New York as a baby. At 8, she received voice lessons from jazz singer Sarah Tolar, who first introduced her to the voice of Nat 'King' Cole. "She drew my attention to how honest he is as an interpreter and how gorgeous his sound is". After that Ella Fitzgerald also became a huge influence, followed by Carmen McRae, Frank Sinatra and also the criminally under-rated Bill Henderson. Before she was even in her teens, Anais began to sit in regularly at Birdland in New York at Jim Caruso's open mic nights. At 16, she recorded her debut album, co-produced by her mother, violinist Juliet Kurtzman and Birdland owner Gianni Valenti, and featuring the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. An appearance at Harold Sanditen's open mic night at Crazy Coqs, led to an invitation to perform at the PizzaExpress Jazz Club with the idea of recording this live album.