Hey Matthew: Sorry to see no replies after a few days, but I'll offer this, having played many Latin styles in a jazz context over the years (but I'm no Latin expert by any means).
Latin styles are very strict. But the need to adhere to strict styles is dependent upon the context in which you are playing. In other words, if you are trying to woodshed at home, and you are trying to master a singular Latin groove, you need to adhere to the written/played style. But, if you are in a combo trying to make a tune sound reasonably authentic, there are many interpretations of what "Latin" means.
Point being, do you really need to discern the difference in a bass pattern used in a samba, a salsa, a rhumba, etc., or do you just want to develop an anticipatory style on the one that is typical of many Latin compositions?
Tuning a mellotron doesn't. - Robert Fripp