Why hello there! It has been a while :)
I'm super excited to hear you enjoyed this! I actually had a really fun time composing this one. I did indeed polish it while making it, and like most of my piano tracks, it started as improv. Well, I added the intro later, actually, but the process started with me just playing around xD
While the piece is short, it has all the parts I wanted it to include, and it has as much structure as I feel it needs. I prefer it as solo piano as well :D
I strongly recommend improvising. I've done it on the piano before I even started to play actual songs! Needless to say, it didn't sound too great back then :p
But even if I don't have a very good pitch recognition (compared to how it should be right now), I tend to have a fairly adept understanding of which chords and melodies work together, etc. I think improvising, has given me a lot of freedom when it comes to playing. It's quite liberating not to limit oneself too much! My main rule is: "If it sounds good, and works; go for it!".
That said, I think it'll be a while before I learn to polish music to the extent that you can do it :)
Since this is so different from my usual style, I was surprised by how 'smooth' the composing process was as well. I don't write that distinct basslines all too often, but I guess I must've done it often enough to be able to work it into this piece, in the very least.
As for the Pixar feel, this was actually partially inspired by "You've Got a Friend In Me", which is featured in Toy Story. An even more obvious inspiration is Cait Sith's Theme, from Final Fantasy VII.
Other than that, I just did what I wanted based on my general feel of how jazz is, in general. I actively tried to use more than just one scale too, in order to practice that element as well.
Well, this response turned out to be a bit long!
Btw, I'm going to have more free time for almost half a year, than I normally would. If you happen to get some time at some point too, we could perhaps think of starting on that collab we talked about ages ago :)
Not for about a month at least though, since I still have a few projects to finish up. But I'm looking forward to working with you if you feel up to it at some point!
Thank you for the nice review, man! :DD