Ready for something a little easier? Sonny Rollins popularized the tune "St. Tomas", which is actually an ancient folk melody.
Normally heard as a calypso tune, we will practice it in a samba style, which is similar, but maybe easier to feel the beats. Samba is a solid 2-beat, usually with heavy syncopation.
St. Thomas is a simple melody of just 16 bars. The first 4 bars (as well as the next 4 bars) are all in the C major key center, with the pattern:
| I | iii VI | ii V | I ||
The only chord in that entire sequence that departs from the C major scale is the third chord which is VI (major) instead of the normal vi (minor.) In other words, that one chord wants a C#. So basically you can play the first 8 bars using notes from the C major scale. If you happen to play a C natural on that third chord, it becomes A7(#9) which is plenty cool.
The last 8 bars depart from the C key center a little, but if you play with an "island spirit" nobody will complain if you don't venture beyond the C major notes.
You can simplify even more if you like. You can think like a steel drum that may have only 3 or 4 notes available. You can make a hip-sounding solo just playing some combination of C, E, and G. It doesn't have to be complicated to be fun.
And here's the same thing in a "soul calypso" style. A conventional calypso is a rather straight beat. This "soul calypso" has the spirit of the calypso, but a little bit of funk for good measure. It is driven by a 2-3 clave throughout.