The answer to Latin jazz: anticipated chord change on last beat provided by Ulf Åkerstedt raises another question: I have written a son bass line, and I realize I have a rumba clave on the drum set. Is this something legal, or is there a specific bass line pattern for the rumba clave?
A lot of salsa tunes use rumba clave instead of son and the bass tumbao is used the same in both. However, it doesn't match quite as well because the last beat on the three-side of the rumba clave occurs on the 'and' of 4, whereas the bass tumbao usually plays the anticipated note on the 4. Of course, the bass can emphasise the 4+ as well if desired.
I agree with @Ulf that anything is legal, since this is music! But if you want to sound more authentic then it's worth getting the rhythms right I think. As I said in another answer, the Salsa Guidebook by Rebeca Mauleon is a fantastic resource and well worth buying if you're interested in playing latin music.
There's actually some disagreement on that actually... People do it all the time... play clave in "afro-Cuban" or any & every "Latin" "style", usually if they're that vague about it... everything just starts sounding "Latinish".
I used to play in Caribbean bands all the time and there's a big difference in how those drummers & percussionists differentiate styles from one another as compared to the Jazz guys. I have definite memories of them saying there is no clave in Cuban music... of course you have to realize that they are differentiating between African "bell patterns" & Brazilian clave (the instrument... wooden stick form). While related and similar... the patterns don't fit exactly the same (or are even in the same time signature)... and you don't use the same instrument. (But what the heck do I know... I'm a guitarist) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clave_(rhythm)
Oddly... it's obviously inherent somewhere in the music (well... not in Boleros apparently, and some other "folkloric" styles...), but it's obviously in Songo...
It took me awhile to remember the name of the groove/style this is called, but it's Songo... That's a great site by Kevin Moore called timba.com... it is a veritable encyclopedia of the history of Cuban music since the 40's, it's divided into 3 parts, the roots of Timba I, II, and III, the only reason I mention this is because sub-navigation on the site is on the right of the page, I found it confusing at first, but he's got the complete development of Cuban grooves notated in a really neat "contextual" way.
They start in the 40's and trace every example of the evolution of Cuban music with a basic notation and links to music examples as well as a complete tracing of the evolution of "Drum Set" in Cuban music beginning with Changuito.
I can't find the page link right now... I was reading this a few months ago and there was a mention of tumbao figures up to 4 measures in length (I’ll look for the source, I think there may have been an example)
My previous comment earlier...
Is kind of an outsider's view of the topic... but reducing a Cuban drum groove to just the clave itself doesn't really represent the bigger picture of what's going on.
As a funny somewhat related story... a friend of mine spent a month studying in Brazil at a couple different Samba "schools"; I remember his comment that they didn't even think of any of the rhythm’s starting on "1", or that there was even anything called "1" in music... 4/4 what??? cut what time??? I guess my point is that trying to identify these things from a reference point of "Western" or "European" concepts of time signature really cloud the issue and can lead to fundamental misunderstandings concerning the nature of another culture's music.
Oh... see how you like just a quarter note guagua rhythm, something has to be "on the beat" if you want something else to sound "off the beat". (Kind of like trying to add "altered notes" to a tri-tone sub... it's already altered... if you alter it again... it just ends up diatonic in the end.)
On the pages describing the grooves on the Timba site you’ll see it notated in context…