Robert Chudnick was born in Philadelphia in 1927. A child prodigy on the instrument given to him at his Bar Mitzvah, Red was playing with the Jerry Wald Orchestra at 15, then with Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey, and Gene Krupa. He toured with Woody Herman’s ‘Four Brothers’ band and spent two years playing with Charlie Parker beginning in 1949. Musically, as Red says, "the years with Parker were like college and graduate school combined."
Rodney left jazz for a number of years beginning in 1958, only to re-surface in the late sixties playing in the Flamingo casino house band with Woody Herman trombonist Bill Harris. From 1980 through 1982, he made five albums with Ira Sullivan. He also collaborated with Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts and later with saxophonist Chris Potter. Rodney has released sixteen albums as leader and eight as sideman. In 1990, he was inducted into the Downbeat Hall of Fame.
Rodney’s debut on Chesky Records, Then And Now, seeks to further align the old with the new. The album features some of the best music from his past, arranged in a thoroughly modern way by Red himself and arranger Bob Belden, combined with a group of young Jazz virtuosos from the present. With this release, Red has realized a life's dream.