John Manuel is/was the drummer and percussionist for RAMP (an acronym for Roy Ayers Music Productions), founded in 1976 by Roy Ayers. Although Ayers was not a member of the group, he did write and produce songs on their only album, 1977’s Come Into Knowledge.
The band consisted of Sharon Matthews and Sibel Thrasher on vocals, Landy Shores on guitar, Nate White on bass, and John Manuel on drums and percussion.
Come Into Knowledge was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City and at Record Plant in Hollywood, California. The group was a vehicle for the songwriting talents of Ayers and underrated funk musician/composer Edwin Birdsong. In the subsequent years since its release, Come Into Knowledge is now rightly considered a classic among rare-groove collectors, while artists such as Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Common, PM Dawn, A Tribe Called Quest and many others have used RAMP samples in their music.
The original LP record release of the album still fetches very high prices, and Come Into Knowledge was eventually reissued and re-released on CD in 2007 by P-Vine Records in Japan and by Verve Records in Europe and the United States.